Notable Items:

Katz Test (Katz v. United States)
a Fourth Amendment search does not occur-even when the explicitly protected location of a house is concerned-unless

Plaintiff / Appellant / Petitioner:
Defendant / Appellee / Respondent:
Venue: Supreme Court of the United States
Opinion of the Court: California v. Ciracolo (1986)

Issue(s) Before the Court:

Whether the Fourth Amendment is violated by aerial observation without a warrant from an altitude of 1,000 feet of a fenced-in backyard within the curtilage of a home.

Petitioner's Claim(s):

Respondent contends he has done all that can reasonably be expected to tell the world he wishes to maintain the privacy of his garden within the curtilage without covering his yard.
Such covering, he argues, would defeat its purpose as an outside living area; he asserts he has not "knowingly" exposed himself to aerial views.

Respondent's Claim(s):

The State argues that respondent has "knowingly exposed" his backyard to aerial observation, because all that was seen was visible to the naked eye from any aircraft flying overhead.

Holding(s) and Disposition:

Held: Reversed. ... respondent's expectation that his garden was protected from such observation is unreasonable, and is not an expectation that society is prepared to honor.
Disposition: Reversed.

Material Facts:

Procedural History:


Burger Majority Opinion (White, Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor)

Powell Dissent (Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun)

Full Recounting of Facts

Majority Full Argument